Finding comfortable leggings for running is important whether you’re new to the sport or training for a marathon.
The right leggings will not only feel good – supporting you in the right places free from bunching or sagging – but they will help improve your performance too!
Choosing the right leggings (sometimes known as running tights) isn’t always easy.
The best ones for you will depend on all sorts of things, from your body shape and size to the type of conditions you run in.
In this guide, we’ll run you through our picks of the best running leggings for women designed for comfort, style, and optimal performance.
But first, let’s cover the main features to look for when choosing leggings for running.
The Quick Top Running Leggings For Women In 2023
1. Best Running Leggings Overall: Nike Women’s Pro Training Tight Fit Athletic Leggings
2. Best Leggings for Compression: CW-X Women’s Stabilyx Joint Support Compression Tight
3. Best Running Leggings for Storage: Lululemon Fast and Free High-Rise Crop
4. Best Running Leggings for Hot Days: Under Armour Women’s HeatGear Armour Capri Leggings
5. Best Running Leggings for Wintry Days: YEZII 2 Pack Fleece Lined Leggings
6. Best for Petite Runners: BALEAF Women’s Capri Leggings
7. Best Leggings for Shaping: Fabletics Women’s Define High-Waisted Leggings
What to Look for in Running Leggings
When it comes to the best leggings for running, your number one priority is a good fit.
Leggings that work their way down as you move, chafe in the wrong places, or bunch up around your ankles can be uncomfortable and distracting, ruining your run.
Look for features that help improve fit.
Depending on your body shape, these may include a high waistband to position the leggings more comfortably on your hips and provide support around your middle, or a drawstring to hold them tightly against your body.
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Other important features to look out for in the best leggings for running include:
- Leg length – if you’re a petite runner, look for legging designed for a smaller frame. Alternatively, opt for 3/4 or 7/8 length leggings, or capris.
- Style – if you love the design and feel confident in your leggings, you’re more likely to want to wear them and work out in them – it might sound silly, but it goes a long way toward enhancing your overall enjoyment.
- Visibility – if you train at night, look for gear with reflective detailing that will make you easily visible to motorists and cyclists.
- Fabric thickness – if you’ll be running in cold weather, consider fleece-lined or thermal leggings. For comfort during the summer months, look for lightweight, breathable materials designed to wick moisture away from your skin.
- Pockets – whilst you won’t want to be carrying too much on your run, a convenient place to store your keys, phone, or credit card is useful.
The Best Running Leggings For Women
#1. Best Running Leggings for Shaping – Fabletics Women’s Define High-Waisted Legging
Fabric: 88% Polyester, 12% Elastane, Sizes: XX-Small to 4X, Plus 2 Lengths, Colors/Patterns: 4, Pockets: 1 Small Key Pocket
|Tummy control||Run small – consider sizing up|
|Curve-defining fabric||Can be challenging to put on!|
|Opaque in all colors||Strange logo placement|
These are the best running leggings for women looking for a flattering style to accentuate their shape.
They are made with Fabletics’ most compressive fabric – Powerhold – which lifts your butt and provides all the control you need for a sleeker silhouette.
The four-way stretch fabric is designed to move with you easily, and it’s reassuring to know that it’s squat-proof too – so it won’t let you down in the gym!
It’s nice to find a pair of white running leggings that are not see-through, and as an added bonus the moisture-wicking fabric also offers UPF protection.
#2. Best Running Leggings for Compression – CW-X Women’s Stabilyx Joint Support Compression Tight
Fabric: 70% Polyester, 30% Spandex, Sizes: X-Small to XX-Large, Colors/Patterns: 6, Pockets: 1 Small Key Pocket
|Provide compression without bulk||Run small – consider sizing up|
|Drawstring closure for a snug fit||Could be more breathable|
|Help you recover faster|
Designed to support your lower back, pelvis, hips, and knees, these running tights offer stability whilst giving you the freedom of movement you need.
The stretchy fabric is designed to keep you dry and comfortable – quickly wicking moisture away from your skin – and the flat seam construction ensures it won’t chafe.
I find that these stay in place well and don’t need adjusting mid-run, plus the enhanced shock absorption in my joints is both noticeable and welcome!
#3. Best Running Leggings for Storage – LULULEMON Fast and Free High-Rise Crop
Fabric: 84% Nylon, 16% Lycra Elastane, Sizes: 0-20, Plus 3 Lengths, Colors/Patterns: 6, Pockets: 7 (5 Drop-In & 2 Side Pockets)
|Sleek, cool feel||Little support|
Designed specifically for running, these are some of the best leggings in terms of all-round comfort, made from a soft Nulux fabric that feels just like a second skin!
The addition of Lycra fiber makes them super-stretchy, so they move easily in four directions and easily pass the squat test.
They retain their shape well, too, even after multiple washes, and have a snug-fitting waistband with a continuous drawcord that keeps them in place from start to finish.
Best of all, there are LOTS of pockets for your gels and other running essentials, with the side pockets spacious enough for almost any phone.
#4. Best Running Leggings for Hotter Days – Under Armour Women’s HeatGear Armour Capri Leggings
Fabric: 100% Polyester, Sizes: X-Small Short to XX-Large Tall, Colors/Patterns: 4, Pockets: 1 Side Pocket
|Lightweight, sweat-wicking fabric||Run small|
|Roomy side pocket for phone|
|Great value for money|
The best running leggings for women who regularly train in hot weather, this pair has all the features you need to stay cool!
The fabric is super-light, allowing your skin to breathe and regulating your body temperature, whilst the HeatGear technology wicks away moisture quickly.
Yet it still offers just enough compression to provide some support to your muscles and give a smooth look.
The placement of the ergonomically designed flatlock seams makes these leggings very comfortable – you won’t need to worry about chafing – and the wide, firm waistband stops them from slipping down.
They are also durable enough to hold their shape well, despite repeated washing!
#5. Best Running Leggings for Wintry Days – YEZII 2 Pack Fleece Lined Leggings
Fabric: 75% Polyester, 25% Spandex, Sizes: Small to XX-Large, Colors/Patterns: 7, Pockets: 2 Side Pockets and 1 Hidden Pocket
|Cozy, brushed fleece interior||Run a little large|
|Completely opaque||Fabric prone to pilling|
Guaranteed to keep you toasty even on the chilliest days, these winter running leggings are super-soft on the inside yet still breathable and lightweight.
The high, wide waistband provides great support for your tummy and ensures a comfortable fit, whilst the 4-way stretch gives you complete freedom of movement.
You’ll find plenty of space to take essential items along on your run, with a hidden pocket at the waist for small items like a key or credit card, and two very deep pockets at the sides.
Highly durable, these leggings stand up well to frequent washing, with no sagging or fading.
Best of all, they’re incredibly flattering to wear, with the gentle compression from the fabric giving you a sculpted, streamlined look.
#6. Best for Petite Runners – BALEAF Women’s Capri Leggings
Fabric: 87% Nylon, 13% Spandex, Sizes: X-Small to XX-Large, Colors/Patterns: 8, Pockets: 2 Side Pockets and 1 Hidden Pocket
|Flexible, moisture-wicking fabric||Side pockets are too small for some phones|
The best running leggings for women are those that allow you to move and stretch freely – and these capri-style leggings check both those boxes.
Made from a durable mixture of nylon and spandex, they are comfortable to wear and effectively wick moisture away from your skin.
This, combined with the breathability of the fabric, will help you stay cool in even the most demanding conditions.
The elastic waistband is thick enough to provide plenty of support and give a flattering fit.
It also keeps them securely in place, so you won’t find yourself needing to hitch them up during your run.
You have eight different colors to choose from, all of which remain vibrant after washing.
#7. Best Running Leggings Overall – Nike Women’s Pro Training Tight Fit Athletic Leggings
Fabric: 78-79% polyester/21-22% spandex, Sizes: X-Small to XX-Large, Colors/Patterns: 8, Pockets: 2 Hidden and 1 Phone Pocket at the Back
|Minimal seam lines to prevent chafing||Fabric attracts lint|
|Contoured waistband for a smooth silhouette|
Our vote for the best running leggings for women goes to this pair from Nike – and if you’re looking for leggings that you can literally put on and forget, then you’ve found them!
The fit is great, contouring to your body shape and providing the support you need, whilst the elastic waistband holds them gently but firmly in position.
The moisture-wicking fabric has a durable, high-quality feel and is breathable enough to keep you cool.
No matter how long you run in these leggings, you can be confident you’ll still feel great at the end!
The Best Running Leggings For Women: Key Takeaways
Ideally, your running leggings should feel almost like a second skin – so comfortable that you barely know they’re there.
All of these products meet that goal, whilst offering additional features to make them ideal for your next run. Whether that’s a fleece lining to keep you cozy or extra support to shorten your recovery time, I hope you’ve found your ideal leggings here in this guide.
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